Brief | How Nigerians use Tech

I am a Nigerian, and I love whatever will give me moments of glee. This is despite the ‘cruise’ I’m having with my country. What happiness means to me is not void of having certain tech products close. My phone, laptop, social media, and other apps are like my babies. I love them so much.

Lots of Nigerians like me derive joy from specific tech gadgets and solutions. These include social media, fitness gadgets, music players, Fin-tech apps, and the likes. We obtain a level of satisfaction using these products. It might be a surprise that Nigeria was ranked as the third happiest nation in Africa by the United Nations Happiness Report of 2019. Trust me, tech products contributed massively to this statistic.

Nigerians and Africans love the good life. But it is saddening that many will rather buy gadgets and install tech app solutions that are not made by Africans. There are certainly some sentiments behind this. 

A month ago, the Director-general of NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, called out to certified computer manufacturers imploring them to ensure that their tech products’ quality meets the minimum requirement. Because of news like this, many have little or no trust in ‘made-in-Africa products.’ 

Of course, there is a need for hardware manufacturers in Nigeria to up their game. However, we all know that the government’s inefficiency, coupled with the lack of the needed infrastructure, is a significant cause of this. This is a discussion for another day. On the other hand, many persons just want to be carried along in the euphoria of using a foreign tech product. 

As much as these foreign tech products give us the good life, there are many tech products developed by Nigerians or Africans that are quite underestimated. If these products were passed off as products made elsewhere, they surely would enjoy high ended approval and admiration as their other contemporaries. 

Two weeks ago, the NITDA launched a consumer protection forum in the bid to review customer dissatisfaction over poor service delivery of Nigeria IT products. This is quite a good innovation as it allows Nigerians to criticize or commend Nigeria-made tech solutions. Through innovative ideas, Africans have and are making huge waves providing tech solutions in various sectors of the economy. 

NiTA (Nigeria Technology Awards) annually hosts an award event to celebrate and reward tech entrepreneurs. So far, about 500 corporate organizations and individuals have been beneficiaries. I consider this a motivation and a promotion of Nigerian-made tech solutions to the world. Likewise, Techpoint Africa Awards opened its portal for preliminary nominations to the public at the inception of the year. These tech products gained this recognition based on the hard work they have put in overtime. 

  • Most Outstanding Startup Driving Financial Inclusion (Kudi, Paga, Opay) 
  • Most Outstanding Electronic Payment (Flutterwave, Paystack, Paga)
  • Most Outstanding Mobility Startup (Gokada, Uber, Bolt, MAX okada) 
  • Most Outstanding Agro-crowd funding startup (Payfarmer, Farmcrowdy, Thrive Agric) 
  • New Startup of the year (2019-2020) (54gene, Plentywaka, Chaka, Eden Life) 

These tech solutions aim at making life convenient for Nigerians. However, when you compare how many users they have with other similar non-African tech solutions, you will see a gap. It is safe to say that Africans are relegating African products, and credit is given to similar foreign tech solutions.

We have a long way to go as a nation and continent on recognizing and appreciating tech products made by Africans on a large scale. The country is progressing in tech as budding software developers and engineers are taking over the tech space. Tech solutions by Africans are bound to gain recognition around the globe in the nearest future.

 

Article by: ‘Dayo Adebayo

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